Madisonville CISD third graders experienced a light-hearted mock trial at the Madison County Annex this morning staged by local officials in an attempt to express the values of the American justice system.
“It gives us an opportunity to give the children a glimpse into the court process and how important it is that they are involved in it,” said Madison County Judge Tony Leago, who oversaw the mock proceedings. “It is fundamental in our Constitution to be tried by a jury of our peers. And it is good to give the children a glimpse into this in a fun way.”
The trial featured the defendant, Mrs. Curly Pig, wrongly accused of attempting to cook Big Bad Wolf (B.B. Wolf). Three different groups of the district’s third graders came to watch the proceedings throughout the morning and a number of them were selected to sit on the jury.
County officials who participated in the event, along with Leago, included District Attorney Brian Risinger (Big Bad Wolf); District Clerk Melissa Remenar (Mrs. Curly Pig); Assistant to County Judge Donna Cuevas (Mr. Wolf’s Attorney); Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 Steve Cole (Mrs. Pig’s Attorney); Assistant Auditor Christy Nacianceno (County Clerk); District Attorney Investigator Bobby Adams (Mr. Smith); Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Lynn Jeffries (Bailiff); District Clerks Bobbie Duke and Tiffany McClure (Grieving Pig Widows); Chief Clerk Adrian Lawson (Greeter); Assistant Coordinator for the D.A.’s office Amy Reyes (Granny); District Clerk Rhonda Savage (Little Red Riding Hood).
The spirited session was entertaining for the third graders as well as informative. One of the students raised his hand and stated that the event was "one of the coolest things I ever seen” following the 10 a.m. trial.
Leago also expressed an interest to incorporate a mock trial for high school students in the future to help vividly express the dangers of driving while under the influence.
“One of the most devastating things that can happen to a young person today is to get a DWI,” said Judge Leago. “It never goes away. If they were to get a second, it becomes catastrophically detrimental. I do not feel that we can educate our young people enough about these ramifications. I feel like staging an accurate mock trial could allow them to grasp it better.”
A possible mock trial for high school students is still currently in the planning stages.